Deals | Chinese online securities brokerage Tiger Brokers enters unicorn territory

Tiger Brokers has closed a Series C round worth more than US$80 million, bringing its valuation to $1.06 billion.

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Deals | Chinese online securities brokerage Tiger Brokers enters unicorn territory

Chinese online securities brokerage Tiger Brokers has closed a Series C round worth more than US$80 million, bringing its valuation to $1.06 billion and granting it membership in China’s booming unicorns club. Some investors that backed this latest investment include Prospect Avenue Capital (PAC), Ocean Pine Capital, and Orient Hentai Capital.

“We are proud to participate in Tiger’s latest financing,” said Liao Ming, founding partner of PAC, adding, “The company is recognized as one of the leading Fintech companies in the industry and thanks to its internet genes and R&D ability, the company has secured a relatively high market share and is developing rapidly.”

Last year, the firm closed an RMB100 million Series B+ round led by China Growth Capital and an RMB200 million Series B round led by HG Capital in 2016. Xiaomi Inc. which recently listed on the Hong Kong bourse led an RMB100 million Series A round in the company in 2015. Other investors in the firm include Zhen Fund, Meituan Dianping’s founder Wang Xing, K2VC, and Singapore-based billionaire investor Jim Rogers.

According to its founder, Wu Tianhua, this latest capital injection will boost research and development as well as talent acquisition. In addition, it will accelerate the development of its global asset allocation platform.

Established in June 2014, the venture provides a mobile app for ethnic Chinese investors within and outside China to trade China A shares, Hong Kong-listed stocks and US stocks through a stock connect scheme between Hong Kong and Chinese stock exchanges.

The app is accessible in more than 200 countries, with users able to track stock quotes and receive live news feeds, with claims by the brokerage that it facilitates upwards of US$150 billion in trading volume through its platform.

This permits  Chinese investors to explore financial assets beyond China’s investment sphere, with product offerings that include stocks, options, bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and foreign exchange. It has a ”one-click-new” function for Hong Kong & U.S stocks, a recently added feature, which allows investors to participate in new share issues, such as the recent Xiaomi listing.

The Tiger Trade app is accessible across the globe, in more than 200 countries and regions. Its users also get to track stock quotes and receive live news feeds – a needful service for traders to trade on the latest news – on the same app. The company, today, has accumulated a whopping US$150b in terms of trading volume on its app, according to a report by SCMP.

This push to the unicorn status – could be timely against archrival 8 Securities, a stock trading startup that’s focused on Asia – with the majority of its users based in Hong Kong, China & Singapore. 8 Securities raised a $25 million investment in early April in a round led by Japanese investment bank Nomura, which will go towards marketing and software development.

US-based trading app Robinhood attempted to forge a partnership with Chinese search engine operator giant Baidu that would have enabled China-based investors to purchase any US stock or ETF through a Robinhood account via the use of Baidu’s StockMaster app.

While the deal didn’t go through – China Securities Regulatory denied Robinhood’s request -, this move reveals the interest in the Chinese online trading market, which is host to online brokers such as SogoTrade and Firstrade.